Monday, August 10, 2009

Michigan Marijuana Expo to Bring Back Jobs to Detroit!

Thousands attend medical marijuana expo

Santiago Esparza and Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News
Monday, August 10, 2009

Detroit -- Jeff Brink bitterly recalls taking massive amounts of
painkillers for 10 years to deal with back pain stemming from a work

The 45-year-old St. Joseph resident said the morphine pump attached to
his body and high doses of other painkillers three times daily left him
generally incoherent most of the time.

Then, in March, he stopped taking the painkillers and started using
marijuana. Although he is still in pain, he is able to manage it without
feeling as if he is not in control of his body, he said Saturday while
attending the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association 2009 Expo in
southwest Detroit.

"There is hope that there is something out there without the harmful
side effects I had been dealing with for 10 years," Brink said. "My
thought processes are much better. ... It has been a blessing."

By Sunday, nearly 4,000 people had visited the expo, just shy of the
5,000 people that organizers were expecting.

Rain on Saturday and heat Sunday may have been factors in the
attendance, said expo spokeswoman Hillary Dulany.

Still, Dulany was excited to have drawn so many people to the state's
first medical marijuana expo, held at Michigan Avenue and 22nd Street

"This is bigger than I anticipated, " she said.

"But it's good. Things are going well."

Among those who attended Sunday was Mary Bridges, a psychiatrist with a
private practice in Detroit.

"I am always interested in eclectic therapies that will enable patients
to live a more fulfilling life," said Bridges.

In November, Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing
medical marijuana. It was just the 13th state to do so. The expo aimed
to inform attendees about the law, educate them about choices and show
there are job opportunities relating to the field, organizers said.

There are 3,000 patients registered with the state and another 1,100
people registered to legally provide the marijuana.

Greg Francisco, executive director of the Michigan Medical Marijuana
Association, said a person who uses marijuana to deal with pain or
illnesses is like any patient seeking relief for a medical condition.

"We are no different than any of our peers," he said. "We use this plant
for medical purposes."

For information, visit www.mmmexpo2009. com.

http://www.detnews. com/article/ 20090810/ METRO/908100322/ 1409/METRO

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